Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Wiki


"...And finally, I came to the place where souls go to die. Where the mirrored and worn spirits fall into an endless sea of grey, mirrored glass... and I lowered myself within... and lay among them... and I almost did not return. And do you know what I found there? There, among the silent and battered shells of the innumerable? Peace. Enlightenment. Truth."

WARNING: This page contains significant spoilers. Turn back if you haven't beaten the game before.

Kerghan was the only human to ever serve in the Elven Council during the Age of Legends. He singlehandedly discovered the Necromantic Black college of Magick, and was banished to the Void for his unrepentant experiments on the souls of the dead.

Life in the Void[]

Kerghan spent 2000 years preparing for his return to Arcanum so that he may cleanse it of life. His motivations were of a spiritual nature, as he believed that life as a state is unnatural, and therefore must be put to an end.



Kerghan's early life and childhood are unknown. In adulthood Kerghan grew into one of the most powerful human sorcerers. K'an Hua said that Kerghan was one of the few human magickers during the Age of Legends similar in power to the Elven Mages. Winston Schuyler of P. Schuyler & Sons mentions that he battled the Bane of Kree in the Dead Hollows, whose very stones burned there for three days in their passing. He was chosen by Nasrudin to be on the Elven Council and was its only human member.

For two centuries, he studied the different colleges of magick especially Necromantic White, which he also discovered and put together. Yet this was not enough; he searched more. He came upon the magick of Necromantic Black and shared his discovery with the council. Considering this necromancy is evil, they told him to quit his research into the darker side of magick. He ignored them and put together the college: by really physically hurting living beings, bringing back the souls of the dead and talking to them, summoning dark beings, reanimating dead corpses, and then quenching the lives of living beings. He performed his dark magicks on both corpses and living beings.

Nasrudin became suspicious and sent Arronax to investigate Kerghan. Arronax told Nasrudin and the rest of the council what the sorcerer was doing. First they were going to exile him, throw him out of their number, strip him of his resources and authority. But Arronax convinced them that he should instead be banished to the Void, a mysterious world, where an ancient civilization existed and where the Elven Council banished other beings that they saw as a threat.

Arcanum - Final Speech[]

When Kerghan entered the Void, he discovered that there was no time and was able to enter the realms of the afterlife. He entered the world where souls go to die. There he found eternal peace. He then came to believe that life is a great mistake of the function of the universe, and in order to correct this he had to destroy it. He continued to practice his dark necromancy and although it increased his power, it also transformed his body and spirit hideously.

In a few years the Elven Council banished Arronax as well. Arronax’s conflict with Kerghan in the Void was brief: he defeated Arronax and imprisoned him in his fortress. Shortly afterward, the Dark Elves called across the void. Kerghan took advantage of this by pretending that he was Arronax, and told them that in order to escape, they must weaken the barrier between the two worlds, manipulate the Panarii, (a religion of the teachings of Nasrudin and the prophecy of the Living One his reincarnation), and send him a kingdom of dwarves, known as the Black Mountain Clan.

As Arronax was imprisoned, every once in a while Kerghan would revisit him to tell him of his plot. Arronax developed a morbid fascination with him as a result, but was still willing to kill him by the end of his diuturnal imprisonment.

Kerghan forced the dwarves to build a portal device that would enable him to re-enter Arcanum and destroy the barrier. One of the Black Mountainers escaped and warned the Living One of Kerghan's plan and to give his best friend Gilbert Bates back his ring. Which begins the Living One's quest to stop, join, or talk Kerghan out of his plan. Whether the Living One defeats or joins Kerghan he is killed by the Living One.


Kerghan's Perspective on Life


His laboratory could still be found in the depth of the Stonecutter Clan’s domain, which contained his journal and a few of his minions. Winston Schuyler of P. Schuyler & Sons mentioned him when questioned on his family history, and there was a painting called "Kerghan and Persephone" in Tarant. Panarii clergy in Tarant and Caladon mentioned him when questioned. Edward Teach mentioned him in passing if the Living One exposed Gilbert Bates.